One Marine is a step closer to fulfilling his dream after receiving a transplant of two arms over the summer.
John Peck, who lost all four limbs in a 2010 explosion in Afghanistan, ditched his prosthetic arms in a 14-hour surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, according to CBSNews.
He couldn’t have been happier to find out he would be granted the opportunity.
“This dude, Sgt. John Peck — what, what! — just got listed for a double arm transplant,” Peck said in a video at the time he found out about the surgery. “These [prosthetics], like, suck. I mean they are horrible.”
Peck received the arms from a young man who was declared brain dead 36 hours before the surgery, which was performed by a team of 60 surgeons, nurses and technicians.
Peck feels that his dream of becoming a celebrity chef, which never faded — even without arms — has become more tangible now.
"I am going to compete on The Next Food Network Star. I’m going to win it. And then I’m going to open up a restaurant," Peck said told the station.
Before Peck can use his new limbs, his own nerves have to grow down to his new fingertips, which can be a daunting process.
“As those nerves grow back, sometimes they can give unusual sensations to people, sensations like electric shocks and sensations like burning,” Dr. Simon Talbot, who led the surgery, told CBSNews.
There was even a time when Peck second-guessed whether the procedure was the right for him.
“There was one night in the ICU, I was crying. I was in a lot of pain, even through all the meds I was on. I contemplated calling the doctor and being like, ‘Look, doctor, I can’t handle this pain right now. You gotta take these arms off me,’” Peck said.
But Peck withstood the pain, and remains in rehabilitation.
“Any day my body can say, nope, not having it. And then go back to Brigham and get my arms re-amputated even higher than I was before,” Peck said.
For now, the arms are in braces to protect them from strain, and it could be a year before he has sensation in his fingers.
Two years ago, Peck was living in a handicap-accessible house, and just putting food on the table was a frustrating task. With his new arms, however, he's focused on the future.
“I’m just grateful that I’m going to have this opportunity to be able to hold somebody’s hand again, to possibly be able to fulfill my dreams, my lifelong dream,” Peck said.